While you’re spending extra time at home it might be a good time to review and check your home oxygen devices to make sure your living areas are safe from potential hazards and to keep them in good working condition. Let’s focus specifically on your oxygen concentrator.

Initial set up

  • Place in a well-ventilated area, at least 10 feet from walls, wall coverings, furniture and heating/cooling vents
  • Plug in the unit. Do NOT use an extension cord.
  • Turn on the concentrator. A brief alarm will sound and then stop.
  • Adjust the liter flow that was prescribed by the ordering physician by turning the knob until the line at the prescribed number is in the middle of the floating ball. You should be at eye level when setting the flow. Let go of the knob and check it once more to make sure the ball hasn’t moved up or down.
  • Attach the nasal cannula by placing the prongs in your nostrils so that they are curving inward, not upward. Loop the tubing over your ears and tighten under your chin by sliding the bolo upwards until it’s comfortable and not too tight. Never secure the tubing behind your head.
  • Turn the machine off when not in use.

Maintenance and Cleaning

  • If using a bubble humidifier change the distilled water Make sure it is screwed back on properly as failure to do so can cause water leakage or worse, no or an improper amount of oxygen to be delivered.
  • Wipe down the concentrator cabinet weekly with a damp cloth.
  • Wash the bubble humidifier weekly in warm, soapy water, rinse well with hot water then disinfect it in a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water. Soak all parts for 20 minutes, rinse very well with tap water and refill with distilled water when ready to use.
  • Wash filters weekly in warm water, blot dry with a paper towel and allow to completely dry before returning to machine. Your home medical equipment company can show you where it is and how to remove for cleaning.
  • Change nasal cannulas every two weeks. Do not wash them.
  • Change bubble humidifier monthly
  • Change extension tubing every 3 months.

Reminders

  • Do not use more than 50 feet of oxygen tubing. This includes the nasal cannula.
  • Do not place any liquids on the concentrator
  • Keep all tubing away from flames
  • Inform your power company that you are oxygen dependent. If your power goes out switch the cannula to your large back-up tank. Try not to use your smaller portable tanks at this time.
  • Post NO SMOKING signs where people approaching your residence can see them
  • DO NOT SMOKE in a house where oxygen is being used, even if it is not turned on. This includes E-cigarettes.
  • Do not charge E-cigarette batteries anywhere near oxygen sources.
  • Do not change the setting of your oxygen unless prescribed by your physician.

Following these basic guidelines should help to keep you and those living with you safe as well as getting the greatest benefit from your supplemental oxygen use.

For any questions or advanced troubleshooting regarding your oxygen concentrator please call your equipment provider. Their sticker/phone number should be somewhere on the equipment itself.